What's the problem?
Christopher Ingalls | 09/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is as biting and sarcastic and beautiful a masterpiece as --South has put out. I've neglected to review it here because I've been too busy listening to it. It's extremely melodic from start to finish. Maybe it's too polished for some of their fans. The gift is their ability to sing about prostitution,alcoholism,unfaithfulness,and loneliness without being maudlin or preachy or really very humorous. It's almost more...mean spirited in a nice sort of way. No other band could put the f word in a soft pop number but issue the word with the same emphasis as you would use the word duck or apple. Classic South if you ask me."
A must have recording
E. Hinrichsen II | New Jersey | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Relatively obscure here in the USA, The Beautiful South, of Manchester England, record wry, acerbic pop that skewers contemporary culture under cover of deceptively beautiful, sometimes orchestral, arrangements.
This CD contains "The Sound Of North America", a laser sharp look at contemporary american culture and capitalism; "Rotterdam (or anywhere), a weary travelers take on one more port; the incredibly brilliant "Don't Marry Her" with it's alternative offer that's not printable here; "One God", in which Paul Heaton tells us that the "world won't end in darkness, it'll end in family fun, with Coca Cola clouds behind a Big Mac sun". Eleven of the twelve cuts here are not only good but great. The exception is an inexplicable cover of Bobby Darin's "Artificial Flowers" that even the South's talents and cynicism can't rescue from it's basic banality.
Listening to The Beautiful South one can only conclude that they wrap bitter pills in sweet coatings. And, man, do they go down easy!
Great in parts...
Gary Selikow | Great Kush | 09/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the most part a good album with a blues/folk feel and some rather angry and cynical lyrics.
The best known songs here are the saucy `Don' Marry Her' and the social commentary - `Rotterdam'. There are several songs about social ills from the mind and emotions of the afflicted, exploring themes from the mind of a prostitute - `Mirror', an alcoholic-`Liar's Bar', the homeless - `The Sound of North America', the lonely -'Alone', the abandoned orphan - `Artificial Flowers' and others. These are sometimes good, sometimes too melancholy , cynical and bitter. My favourite songs on this CD are `Rotterdam', `Mirror', `Foundations, and `Have Fun' all fantastic pieces that I can listen to over.
But there are other parts that bogged down however."